One Day of Bingeing Won’t Bust Your Diet
While the harms of over-eating are well documented and well known, new research suggests that a one-off eating binge won’t lead to any drastic changes in your health, IFLScience.com reports. A new study published in British Journal of Nutrition found that blood glucose levels weren’t affected and only a slight increase in the amount of fat in the bloodstream in the hours after bingeing.
Fourteen healthy men between the ages of 22-37 volunteered for the trial which compared normal eating to maximal eating. During the initial sitting, the participants were told to eat as much pizza as they could until they were comfortably full. During the next sitting, they were told to continue eating until they could not swallow another bite. “On average, people consumed twice as many calories during the all-you-can-eat trial as they did during the first sitting, although the actual amount of pizza eaten varied greatly between participants,” Ben Taub writes.
Researchers measured the participants’ blood glucose levels for 4 hours after they finished eating and found they were no higher after bingeing. Blood lipids were slightly elevated and insulin levels were found to be 50 percent higher after the second sitting.
“This, say the researchers, shows that if an otherwise healthy person overindulges occasionally there are no immediate, negative consequences in terms of losing metabolic control,” according to a release from University of Bath.
“We all know the long-term risks of over-indulgence with food when it comes to obesity, type II diabetes and cardiovascular disease, but we know much less about some of the immediate effects ‘all you can eat’ places on the body,” lead researcher Aaron Hengist explained. “Our findings show that the body actually copes remarkably well when faced with a massive and sudden calorie excess. Healthy humans can eat twice as much as ‘full’ and deal effectively with this huge initial energy surplus.”
Because the study was so small and it only involved healthy young men additional research in this arena will still need to be conducted, but in the meantime it’s nice to know that one day of binge eating won’t completely undo your diet.